Feeds

Martian lakes seen where NASA Curiosity rover WON'T BE GOING

Ancient wetlands 'were on the shortlist'

The essential guide to IT transformation

The European Space Agency says its probe craft in orbit above Mars has seen strong evidence of ancient lakes and rivers - but at a location which WON'T be visited by NASA's nuclear-powered Curiosity rover, which will come in to land on the red planet on Monday.

Orbital imagery of Martian craters. Credit: ESA

Look! Wet as you like! Once, anyway

According to a statement released today by the ESA:

ESA’s Mars Express has observed the southern part of a partially buried approximately 440-km wide crater, informally named Ladon basin. The images, near to where Ladon Valles enters this large impact region reveal a variety of features, most notably the double interconnected impact craters Sigli and Shambe, the basins of which are criss-crossed by extensive fracturing. This region is of great interest to scientists since it shows significant signs of ancient lakes and rivers.

Both Holden and Eberswalde Craters were on the final shortlist of four candidate landing sites for NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, which is due now to land in Gale Crater on 6 August.

Large-scale overview maps show clear evidence that vast volumes of water once flowed from the southern highlands. This water carved Ladon Valles, eventually flowing into Ladon basin, an ancient large impact region.

Curiosity (aka the Mars Science Laboratory), packaged inside its aeroshell re-entry craft and attached to its rocket skycrane lander, is even now soaring inward towards Mars. However the radical rover - which is expected to break all records for distance rolled on another world by the machines of humanity due to its pocket nuclear powerplant - is destined for the Gale crater far across the red planet from the Ladon basin, which it has no possibility of reaching.

It would seem that the ESA, in announcing Mars Express' amazing new discoveries just days before Curiosity comes in to land (the imagery was actually taken in April) may be indicating that it is a tiny bit miffed by the fact that the Holden/Eberswalde/Ladon region didn't get beyond the shortlist.

There's more from the European-centred space agency, including some rather groovy pictures, here. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
China building SUPERSONIC SUBMARINE that travels in a BUBBLE
Shanghai to San Fran in two hours would be a trick, though
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
Astronomers scramble for obs on new comet
Amateur gets fifth confirmed discovery
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?